Saturday, March 28, 2015



March 24, 2015
Have You Seen Her - The Chi-Lites [collected from Dave Marsh's Heart of Rock and Soul]

During the talky bit at the beginning the backup choir sloshes around the room. Once it gets going the texture is intricate, baroque.

Raw Power - The Stooges [from Metallic 'KO]

Whatever it was that Iggy was getting out of it, the tribe gets a vicarious thrill like that of watching someone standing on the back of a stampeding bull.

Yvonne, Neal, and Karen - several years ago
Never Been In Love - The (Pre) PKs

Late on the night before Karen left Bickleton for college, when she should have been packing, she recorded this song with her brother Neal and sister Yvonne - a lineup that would only later be called "The PKs" (Preacher's Kids). Double tracking was done on the cheap: instrumentals recorded first then played back into the room (on cruddy equipment) while they sang. On a whim Neal suddenly played one chorus on electric organ, causing a certain amount of dumbstruck sisterly horror. Neal and I had only gotten acquainted that Spring (but were already engaged in the improvisation sessions that became the seeds of Banned Rehearsal), and Karen and I weren't introduced for another year or so - just before I left for Bard - a whole other story.

Stick Around - Julian Lennon [from The Secret Value of Daydreaming]

Perfectly danceable in a bland sort of way. The very essence of overblown polish.

Gerhard Samuel
Concerto for Cello #2 - Henri Lazarof - Philharmonia Orchestra of Cincinnati, Gerhard Samuel, Jeffrey Solow

The orchestra wafts from the solo, and the solo resides within its own incense. Post-Debussian atmospheres coming apart at all possible seams.

On a personal note, Gerhard Samuel lived his last years in Seattle, a valued and beloved part of our new music community. He is missed.

Funeral Music - FoMoFlo [from Amy Denio's Tuto Benne]

Starts slow, ends party. Like New Orleans translated, else-tongued.

March 26, 2015
Banned Rehearsal 597 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Aaron Keyt, Neal Meyer - January 2001
Banned Rehearsal - ca 2001

From the get-go a distinguishing feature of Banned Rehearsal has been that all noisemakers in the room (or out of it) are fair game at any time and for any player. Not to say that we don't on occasion play one instrument for most or all of a session, but it isn't normative. After all these years it is often difficult to remember who made which sounds. It can get puzzling when there are more obvious sound trajectories than there were people in the room, and especially so when it seems clear that an identifiable person is clearly responsible for several noises arising form what must have been opposite ends of the studio. This session is particularly fine, with not a slack moment anywhere.

Sno-King Kung Fu - Head [from The Funhouse Comp Thing]

A brag.

Now All Set - Laura Karpman [from Milton Babbitt, a Composers' Memorial]

Damn but this is fun! Witty in the highest sense, completely un-full-of-itself. A joy of a romp. More like this, please!

In Session at the Tintinabulary

March 22, 2015
Zuckermann 150322
Zuckermann 150322 folded
Zuckermann 150322 folded rubbed  - Keith Eisenbrey

I finished this cycle of solo improvisations early in the morning so that traffic noise wouldn't overwhelm the clavichord. "Folded" means I cut the sound file in half and dubbed the halves together. "Rubbed" means I subjected it to some serious digital manipulation.

Folded Rubbed 150322 - Keith Eisenbrey

As the folded and rubbed versions of my solo improvisations have been collecting I wondered what it would sound like to run them together. That would have made a longer session than I cared for so I interleaved them into this 26 and a half minute file. Spacy stuff!

Duet 150322 - Keith Eisenbrey

New project - improvised duets by dubbing. First up: ocean drum and electric bass.

March 23, 2015
Gradus 262 150323 - Neal Kosály-Meyer

From out of the solution of impulsed sounds a distinct set of pitches precipitates. Two musics at once, intimately related but operating on separate planes.

Saturday, March 21, 2015



March 14, 2015
Coppice - Joseph Kramer and Noé Cuéllar
John Teske and Neil Welch
Mathieu Ruhlmann and Joda Clément
Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle

Coppice visits from Chicago.

narrative of how this presence arose from self-assembling parts
rhythm of emergence within
ping pong!
or shuttle warp shuttle woof
hollow spaces inside opacity
near and far

John and Neil visit from around here

An accident of where I was sitting gave rise to an interesting acoustic phenomenon. All the unvoiced noises that Neil produced (breathiness, keyclicks, etc.) were quite distinctly coming from the windows to my right, and not from Neil, who was standing slightly to my left. Always great to hear these two listening to each other, closely focused on a narrow field.

Mathieu and Joda visit from Vancouver, if I heard correctly.

campfire or burble brook or rill or runlet
or electro-mysterious sounds revealed to be familiar
by their dynamic shapings
at home with artifact
all over a quiet slowly flanging harmonic bed
tuning in - losing - gaining - signal
rhythms like us in the context of
rhythms like the world

In Session at the Tintinabulary

March 15, 2015
Transverse Flute 150315
Transverse Flute 150315 folded
Transverse Flute 150315 folded rubbed - Keith Eisenbrey

I have been on a sabbatical from writing down notes for almost a year now, and although I have written some pieces during this time it has only been upon request or (in the case of J) when the piece was essentially already written at the moment of its imagining. However I haven't been exactly silent, each week taking up another instrument (mostly guitars) and recording a solo improvisation. This week's instrument is a wood flute I found 10 or more years ago at a street fair.

Half a Bus Closer to Home - Karen Eisenbrey

Karen sang some additional backing vocals for this St. Rage song.

Atomatone 150315
Atomatone 150315 folded over
Atomatone 150315 folded under - Keith Eisenbrey

While the microphone was set up I recorded some dinking around on this little noisemaker that my oldest son gave me for my last birthday. I dropped the pitch digitally and folded it in thirds.

30th Anniversary Viola and Bow
March 16, 2015
Banned Telepath 30 150316 Seattle
Banned Telepath 30 150316 Somerville
Banned Rehearsal 881 150316 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, and Neal Kosály-Meyer (in Seattle); and Aaron Keyt (in Somerville)

I finally got down to Trading Musician to spend the money we made at our 30th Bannediversary show last June. $20 bought a viola with a crack in the soundboard, $30 bought a bow, and $3 bought some resin. Aaron played tin whistle in Somerville.

Saturday, March 14, 2015



March 7, 2015
Semele - Handel
Seattle Opera
McCaw Hall, Seattle

Tricked out like a check-out line bodice ripper, chins and pecs and heaving embonpoint blazoned full screen in old-school cinematic glory, a full frontal demonstration of how to sell a museum piece as hip and happening. Behind all that, some gaudily fancy singing and an ably paced mix of ensemble and solo spin a demoralizing tale. Best to keep to your place, don't get uppity. Not generally being a big fan of Handel, I was pleasantly surprised to enjoy the music quite a bit. All that coloratura filigree was strangely enthralling.


March 9, 2015
Quartet #1 - Elliott Carter - Composers Quartet

fibrous, tough, entwined
to reach where the ancient sky endures

March 10, 2015
Honky Tonk - Bill Doggett [collected from Dave Marsh's the Heart of Rock & Soul]

A lesson. Over a circular pattern Mr. Doggett shows how it is done.

Structures 2 pour deux piano - Pierre Boulez - Alfons and Aloys Kontarsky

It starts as a perverse study in the sound of piano tone as it decays - perverse because it is almost entirely staccato for the first long stretch. Long tones are allowed only at the edges, as it were, on the inside curves of tightly bound pages, where the ink accidentally runs. The subject is more overt toward the end, though I suspect I could hear the end as a complimentary perverse study in the cutting short of sound.

Sequenza 3 - Luciano Berio - Cathy Berberian

De-texting, de-syllable-izing, de-lexicon-izing language, voice, presence. Odd echoes of Handel (see above).

In Session at the Tintinabulary

March 8, 2015
Takemine 150308
Takemine 150308 folded
Takemine 150308 folded rubbed - Keith Eisenbrey

Improvisation on acoustic steel string guitar, with computer assisted manipulations.

March 9, 2015
Gradus 261 - Neal Kosály-Meyer

illumination limited
cavern immense
muted, not feeble
delicately pending
sounding the tie-rods driven into the heart of the rock

So quickly we have climbed far past the point at which the explication of all possible sub-rungs within a rung has become impossible within the time allowed. The deeper in we go the more quickly we accelerate, the smaller we become.

March 12, 2015
Half a Bus Closer to Home - Karen Eisenbrey and Neal Kosály-Meyer

As part of Karen's St. Rage fiction project her fictional band wrote fictional songs, some of which have been actually written. Her actual garage rock band, Your Mother Should Know, in disguise, recorded this one.

Saturday, March 7, 2015



March 6, 2015
Seattle Composers' Salon
Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle

Jeremiah Lawson

Jeremiah presented two sets, in C Major and C minor, of his 24 Preludes and Fugues for solo classical guitar, finding a personal place among several venerable instrumental traditions at once. In response to a question he stated that working the counterpoint out on paper as though it were for voices and then transcribing it for guitar worked well because the restrictions of vocal writing were more strict than for guitar. Fancy that!

Ann Cummings

In Three of a Kind for string bass, piano, and banjo, Ann and her collaborators Jesse Stout and Ethan Subotta aspire to reinvent gamelanic polyrhythms from the ground up. The spectacular result here sounded like a giant autoharp. What fun!

Clement Reid

Each of us has their particular life within the music we know, our peculiar histories within the music that fascinates us. A large part of the value, for me, of the Salon is its function as a sharing of those histories and those lives. For me as a habitual composer of solo piano music, Clement's music underscores just how varied those histories can be. Dreams and Improvisations are composed of six (if I heard correctly) pieces fully of splashy inside-the-piano sounds and un-fussy tunes. I've said this before, but his approach reminds me of Greg Short in its easy acceptance of all manner of crazy within a familiar setting. Its strength is not in its newness, but in its imaginative amiability.

Nadya Kandrevis and Jeremy Shaskus

Part One - Creation for cello, piano, and soprano saxophone. What is clear is that something of vital importance is being worked out. The arena in which the work occurs is as personal and private as it gets, that is to say, it is of the greatest possible vastness. Some comments were made about the relative temporal segregation of the instruments. To my ear (as it was to others I think) this feature was its power. If I have a comment I would suggest drilling this segregation even further, down into the individual parts. The less like regular music this was the more I was digging it.


February 28, 2015
Concerto in C (#3) - Prokofiev - Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, Andrei Chistyakov, Evgenyi Kissin

A music of two lives or spiritual locations - one workaday, busy, vigorous: a public face; the other dreamy, sentimental, languid: a private face.

Concerto #1  - Bartok - London Symphony Orchestra, Colin Davis, Stephen Bishop

Tight canons to startle and scare. The patterns increment stepwise to plateaus. In terms of treating many of the instruments as percussion it follows the example of Stravinsky, but in a more linear concert piece trajectory - the new ensconced in the comfortably established. It gets pretty interesting when it reduces itself to little more than a field of colored impulses.

Arthur Grumiaux
Violin Concerto in D - Stravinsky - Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Ernest Bour, Arthur Grumiaux

A still picture, framed, An evoked place rather than a story to tell. Energized stasis by means of constant misdirection.

March 3, 2015
Quartet #4 - Schoenberg - LaSalle Quartet

From under a crab's carapace a tiny window looks out upon a dingy yard. What is possible is only so for a moment, at each moment it is more of a struggle.

A Pixie From Dixie - Fletcher Henderson

Sounds are arranged in pairs (brass / reeds :: piano/guitar / string bass) with a Haydnesque sophistication. We can dance because our place here is clear, socially unambiguous. Subversive role reversals occur within careful bounds.

Quartet #3 - Shostakovich - Fitzwilliam Quartet

a comic song (don't look
behind you)
chunk chunk chunk chunk chunk chunk
I'm being good 
looked didn't you
lament is perilous
(if it can be imputed to the soul it can be pathologized)
back to comic song
good boy
unwilling to ever
ever ever

In Session at the Tintinabulary

March 1, 2015
like the one on the left -
but I think I paid more for it
Silvertone 150301
Silvertone 150301 folded
Silvertone 150301 folded rubbed - Keith Eisenbrey

Improvising on my first electric guitar, a hollow body with three pickups. Pretty sweet.

March 2, 2015
Banned Rehearsal 880 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, Neal Kosály-Meyer

No accompaniment from the snowy east this time.